Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Too Busy to Listen?

by Debbie Andrews

Looking out the window above the kitchen sink my mind wandered as I hurried to get the dishes done.  The day had been long and difficult.  

My son’s voice broke the silence with “Mom, look at what I made.”  

“Uh huh, that’s great” I mumbled.  

“Mom, you didn’t even turn your head to look at me.  How do you know it’s great?”

You see, even at his young age, he knew the importance of eye contact and focus while listening.  I heard his voice, responded in a non-committal way and yet I wasn’t truly listening to him.  My son taught me a valuable lesson over 25 years ago that has served me well over the years.

Obviously, distractions hinder our ability to genuinely listen.  Almost daily, I experience difficulty staying focused during my quiet time. My mind wanders while praying.  At times, I forget what I read as soon as I read it. God wants to talk to me and often times I say “Uh huh, that’s great.”

Three things have helped me stay focused when I’m reading God’s word, praying, or studying.

  1. Get rid of distractions - - When a thought enters my mind that is distracting, keeping me from what I am doing, I stop, jot down a note and get right back to it.  That’s my way of taking every thought captive.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  2. Plan to neglect - - Plan to meet with God at a scheduled time and place daily.  Neglect the duties of the day for time with God.  This allows me to spend quality time with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who will remind me of all that Jesus desires.  (John 14:26) Of course, outside of my scheduled time, I am in constant conversation with God while I go about my daily business.  When I plan to neglect, I get more done throughout the day.
  3. Know God’s voice  - - His voice is always consistent with His Word, it brings peace, it never pushes me to decide and it is a still, small voice that never condemns or harasses me.  Listen to His voice (John 10:27).  Conversely, the enemy’s voice is negative, harsh, critical, pushy and speaks in the 1st person  - “I’m fat”, “I look bad”, “I’m not smart”, “I can’t do this.”

I’m determined to listen for God’s voice and look to Him when He is speaking.  He wants me to partner with Him just as my son wanted me to share in his accomplishment.

Blog Contributor, Debbie Andrews and her husband, Charlie own and operate a quaint hotel in the small town of Wallace, Nebraska.  Their 4 children chose wonderful mates who have blessed them with 8 fun grandchildren.  Her heart is full of love for the Lord and the family He has given her.  Teaching, scrapbooking, canning and sewing are talents God has given to Debbie to share with others.

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